St Kitts and Nevis PM rings the election bell
St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas last night announced the much-anticipated date for general elections, fixing February 16 as the date on which the people the twin island federation will go to the polls.
Before a large crowd of supporters in Buckley’s, Dr Douglas also boldly declared that his incumbent St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party and its coalition partner, the Nevis Reformation Party, would sweep the polls.
“Tonight we have rung the bell in Constituency Number Three and we shall have all eleven seats!” Dr Douglas told the cheering crowd.
Nomination day is February 6.
The prime minister’s announcement comes against the backdrop of a tumultuous parliamentary term in Basseterre, which ended in a virtual stalemate and without consideration being given to an opposition-sponsored motion of no confidence brought two years ago against the government.
Following hasty debate on new electoral boundaries, the court in Basseterre was up to Tuesday considering an injunction brought by the opposition against the Electoral Commission and the Supervisor of Elections in a bid to prevent them from using the realigned boundaries in the elections.
However, Douglas has his eyes fixed on a fifth consecutive term for his ruling party. During his speech he invited members of the Team Unity – made up of elected members of the St Kitts-based People’s Action Movement, the Nevis-based Concerned Citizens Movement and the recently formed People’s Labour Party (which is led by Douglas’ former senior minister Timothy Harris and his former deputy prime minister Sam Condor) – to crossover to his side.
“. . . We have open arms. We have enough room for them!”
Douglas also appealed for a violence-free poll, saying, “I want this election, apart from being fair, with fair boundaries, I don’t want any violence. It must be violence free! But I ask you, if you are being in any way a subject of violence, you’ve got to protect yourself and defend yourself as well! You hear what I tell you . . . we ain’t going lie down . . . with our two hands beside us you know.
“We don’t want no violence, but I tell you all already, is only warriors that I want with me!” Dr. Douglas declared, as the crowd roared its approval.